Road and Track M235i Test Drive

by Bimmerfest.com Member - rayainsw on February 12, 2014, 7:41 pm
rt test m235i

The M235i is BMW's latest coupe and although we all know it's not an M car, it is the first M Performance vehicle to be offered in the US. The M235i definitely offers enough punch from its 3 liter inline 6, putting out 322 horsepower and 332 torques. The power is sent to the rear wheels and rockets the M235i to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Combine that with near 50-50 weight distribution and you end up with a pretty impressive package. Road and Track recently took BMW's all-new M235i for a test drive, here's what they thought.

As far as looks, on the exterior, the M235i is a much better looking car than the 1 series. The exception to this being those gray painted mirror caps, which do look cheap. Heading inside, the M235i offers an excellent driving position with comfortable seats. The use of quality materials along with great ergonomics, make the interior of the M235i a functional and nice place to be. There are always downers though. The lack of gauges for coolant and oil temperature, as well as digital engine sound being piped through the stereo speakers, were definitely negatives.

On the road, 'the M235i is a grown-up, comfortable, refined, pleasant long-distance cruiser.' It's quite quick too, posting runs to 60 in 4.5 seconds. On the other side of that, R&T felt the brakes worked quite well, stopping the M235i like an M car. The suspension handled bumps and varying road conditions well and they thought the steering, while being quick and precise, had a complete lack of feel. This quote sums up the steering, 'You could run over a 135i and not feel it through the wheel.' Another complaint was that the test cars lacked the mechanical limited slip differential option. BMW should have checked that box for the test cars, since I'm sure most will be ordering their M235i with this option.

All in all not too much of a conclusion. R&T felt the M235i felt too refined and too grown up. Read Road and Track's full review of BMW's M235i here.


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20 responses to Road and Track M235i Test Drive

BentZero commented:
February 12, 2014, 10:36 pm

1) Couldn't tell if he liked the car or not. A lot of gripes, although they seemed valid. 2) Augmented engine noise?!?! Really? I thought BMW was above this. 3) The M235 is a MPA car. No one thinks it's a true M car.

One thing that sucks is that everyone is covering the M235. I've not seen much 228 coverage.
mvallido commented:
February 13, 2014, 1:15 pm

Really? Fake Engine noise coming from it's stereo speakers???

Oh, but the M235i does have fake enginey noises coming from its stereo speakers. Yank the fuse to the sound system's amplifier, and voilà-you have a straight-six soundtrack that's suddenly missing the intake noise. Gosh, that's cool. And the Active Sound Management makes the engine louder in Sport+ and DSC-off modes.
mvallido commented:
February 13, 2014, 1:15 pm

Really? Fake Engine noise coming from it's stereo speakers???

Oh, but the M235i does have fake enginey noises coming from its stereo speakers. Yank the fuse to the sound system’s amplifier, and voilà—you have a straight-six soundtrack that’s suddenly missing the intake noise. Gosh, that’s cool. And the Active Sound Management makes the engine louder in Sport+ and DSC-off modes.
hyperzulu commented:
February 17, 2014, 8:34 pm

If I get this car, the ASM is likely something I'm coding out. Performance exhaust sounds better.
Chris90 commented:
February 17, 2014, 9:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperzulu View Post
If I get this car, the ASM is likely something I'm coding out. Performance exhaust sounds better.
The review made it sound like the sound is fake. I think it's the real engine bay sound piped through the speakers. I'm ok if it's the latter.

Why they don't just remove some of that heavy sound deadening and save weight is beyond me.
mvallido commented:
February 18, 2014, 11:52 am

Oh well, it really doesn't matter much to me. I already placed the order :-) How I wish they offer the BMW Racing body kit(fenders and bumpers) as an upgrade straight from the factory.
funrevn commented:
February 19, 2014, 12:40 am

This weekend I test drove the M235 and the car is a hoot to drive. The cars is a complete pocket rocket and the sound is awesome. They're mimicking the E92 M3 sound can't argue with that.
Psychodo commented:
February 19, 2014, 9:12 am

Well..that was a mixed write up. I think it looks great but would agree about the copied Audi S mirror caps.
CSBM5 commented:
February 21, 2014, 4:38 pm

Regarding the steering being devoid of contact patch feel, well, I guess that's "modern BMW" where as SCOTT26 pointed out to me in another thread, "status" is what drives purchases of BMWs in the USA now. I suppose the majority of the nouveau "enthusiast" doesn't care about at the limit feedback since they wouldn't know what to do with it if they had it? What with DSC training them and all...
superpenguin commented:
February 21, 2014, 4:42 pm

We are missing the most important point...the M235i comes with Michi PSS? Like the same OEM tires that come on 911s?

Shut up and take my money!
superpenguin commented:
February 21, 2014, 4:42 pm

We are missing the most important point...the M235i comes with Michi PSS? Like the same OEM tires that come on 911s?

Shut up and take my money!
BentZero commented:
February 21, 2014, 9:52 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Regarding the steering being devoid of contact patch feel, well, I guess that's "modern BMW" where as SCOTT26 pointed out to me in another thread, "status" is what drives purchases of BMWs in the USA now. I suppose the majority of the nouveau "enthusiast" doesn't care about at the limit feedback since they wouldn't know what to do with it if they had it? What with DSC training them and all...
Most people never even sniff the track. Back road toys are all that most need in the US.
mvallido commented:
February 21, 2014, 11:10 pm

I can't wait to try mine at Bahrain International Circuit.
omaralt commented:
February 23, 2014, 9:13 am

The biggest deal is the lack of an oil temp gauge!! Seriously?
rayainsw commented:
March 5, 2014, 1:10 pm

I am rather surprised that the others [ C+D, MT, Edmunds ] that actually
run instrumented tests have not published numbers.
Cnet put up a review a day or 2 ago - but subsequently
pulled it down. [ No numbers of their own, of course. ]
Seems rather odd, to me...
- Ray
Just curious about additional 'professional' impressions & numbers........
07 E63650i commented:
March 5, 2014, 1:39 pm

What!? Lack of coolant and oil temperature readings along with fake engine noises and lack of steering feel!? BMW should be ashamed of making such a car!
rmjames007 commented:
March 5, 2014, 1:53 pm

as an owner of an 09 135i I felt beat up upon. I like the look of my car especially in comparison to the 3 and 5. I have the M PSS on it and they kick ass.
Caymanator commented:
March 5, 2014, 11:24 pm

One of the most poorly written reviews I've read on any car and probably just as well because when my R&T hits the door I'll know what article to ignore. It appears this car has generated significant negative reaction from all manner of so called M apostles. Fact is it's not an M not unlike the Audi Sline is not an S. Nobody claims this car is an M, but it does fit a demographic. It's for someone who wants a BMW beyond the stock 3 series and wants a daily driver with comfort and limited performance. Not many of us get to drive like we're at a track during our daily commute. I'm sure this car has more power and performance than most will ever be able to use. Of course that's not a problem, we're all entitled to drive whatever we can afford to put in the driveway. It's only a matter of how much money one wishes to spend. I test drove this car on Saturday since I'm looking to replace my 07 Cayman and I have to admit the M235i does not have the same handling dynamics as the Cayman, but it works well with what it has not to mention it has options that would jack the price of a new Cayman into the $70K's and an S would be closer to $80k. I think I could get over the lack of gauges and if I really needed that info I'd bluetooth it to my smart phone through the OBD port. I've never owned a BMW, but this certainly might be my first.
Saberwalk commented:
March 6, 2014, 10:36 am

Isn't there a function to display oil temp, etc. on the iDrive screen? Will have to scheck later today, but that appears to be an option on my M-Sport 335
rmjames007 commented:
March 6, 2014, 11:37 am

Caymanator I say look at a 135 or 1 M

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